Helen Hodgson

A Midlife Awakening 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Joy

My midlife came early – too early. When I missed three consecutive cycles at 41, I was convinced I was pregnant. It didn’t even occur to me that I might be in menopause but when the pregnancy test came back negative, I started to draw my own conclusions. For a few days I was paralyzed with fear, but with my study of archetypes and the goddesses, I knew I had to draw on their ancient wisdom to help me work through this.

My awakening came when I asked the goddesses for guidance. I knew I had to turn this situation around and through my morning meditations, Aphrodite come through loud and clear.

Aphrodite represents deep self-love and she became my patron goddess. For those of you who think the goddesses are “fluffy”, or too “out there”, here’s a quote from Marianne Williamson.

“The Goddess doesn’t enter us from outside; she emerges from deep within. She is not held back by what happened in the past. She is conceived in consciousness, born in love, and nurtured by higher thinking. She is integrity and value, created and sustained by hard work of personal growth and the discipline of a life lived actively in hope.”- Marianne Williamson.

Working with the goddesses requires a daily discipline.

Here are the steps I took to my awakening to Midlife Joy – forget Midlife Crisis and welcome to the Third Act of your life.

1. Self-Care

Self-care is something that is learned. It is purposeful and continuous. It is defined as the maintenance of your well-being, personal health and development. Now is the time to start looking at your sleep pattern to see if you’re getting enough sleep. It’s time to look at your diet, possibly kicking that sugar habit and it’s time to up the ante on your water intake.

These are my favorite reminders to stay on track.

If it feels wrong don’t do it.
Say exactly what you mean.
Don’t be a “people pleaser”.
Trust your instincts.
Don’t be afraid to say no.
Don’t be afraid to say yes.
Let go of what you can’t control.
Stay away from drama and negativity.

How do you define your own self-care?
Where do you fall on the scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest?
What’s holding you back from taking the time for self-care?
What do you think your life would be like if you were to practice better self-care?

2. Self-Love

Self-love noun-regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.

“Loving yourself does not mean being self-absorbed. It means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart.” – Margo Anand.

I used to define self-love as being selfish, self-absorbed, and the only person one cares about is themselves. This is simply not true.  What is wrong with wanting things, being happy and taking care of our own well-being?

I used to put my clients first. I’d schedule sessions on my day off until I reached burn-out and spent days recovering in bed. I had to let go of the martyr syndrome and allow myself some self-love. I had to claim that I was worthy.

How do you define self- love?

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the world self-love?

3. See Beauty

…even when it doesn’t exist.

It’s a cliché but stop and smell the roses. Slow down. At this midlife time you’ll start to realize that life moves so fast and rushing cuts of sensuality. So savor this precious time.

Make time for relationships.
See beauty in nature.
Take a moment to notice the beauty around you.
Notice the light in a room.
Immerse yourself in morning stillness.

What moves you?

Write down some ways to incorporate what you find pleasing and beautiful into your life.

4. Sensual

Treat your body like a temple and please, stop the body shame! Embrace your feminine curves.

Decide to spend a day in bed without guilt; have breakfast in bed with your favorite books and magazines.
Listen to soothing music and dream.
Make your bathing time a ritual and take a long sensual aromatherapy bath with candles and music you love. Aphrodite would renew herself by bathing in the sacred waters on Pathos so consider this a renewal time for you.
Your bedroom is your sacred, aphrodisiacal sanctuary. Introduce more sensual elements into your décor; satiny fabrics, small pillows, candles, pictures of romantic places, perhaps even a picture of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
Design a sensual evening with your partner and cook a luscious meal with candlelight and music.
Wear your softest, most sensual clothes.

Take your time in whatever you do and remember rushing cuts off sensuality.

5. Celebration

Dance, dance, dance. Belly dancing is a wonderful way to move your hips but any kind of dancing from flamingo to tango to salsa to free form dancing can put you in touch with your body’s sensual rhythms. Start a gratitude journal and begin or end the day with five things you’re grateful for.

Celebrate your successes no matter how small. Success breeds success.

Reward yourself with celebration of any kind. Take the afternoon off work and take walk in nature and leave your phone at home.
Curl up with a good book and some hot tea.

Ask yourself what can I do to incorporate more of Aphrodite in my life?

Write down the answers that surface. Allow them to be personal and specific.

Write down your feelings about doing things that please you.

Did you usually judge yourself as unworthy of experiencing pleasure?

As you embrace this chapter, remember to be present in all stages of your life.

Midlife Joy is all about perspective, acceptance and surrender. Each new phase can take us to a deeper state of knowing if we only just remain open to all that life has to teach us.

If you have negative thoughts and beliefs about pleasure, replace them with positive affirmations like this one below:

“I give myself permission to feel beautiful, lovable, sensual and to do the things that please and delight me. I take my time in everything I do and celebrate life.”

Consider writing the affirmation on a card and place it where you’ll see if every day as a kind reminder. Finally get support from a women’s circle. In times of crisis women naturally “tend and befriend” so you can benefit from a sacred circle and make some new friends.

Whatever serves you best, I encourage you to let your Midlife Joy find you fully alive feeling full of purpose. The future is feminine and we have to be ready!

 

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Best Gift For Your Pregnant Wife On Her Birthday

Yesterday we received a call from a customer looking for a birthday gift for his pregnant wife. He wanted to know more about our “Mother Goddess – Massage for the Goddess on the path to Motherhood” a series of six pregnancy massages.

prenatal2Our “Mother Goddess” utilizes specialized safe massages techniques for the growing aches and pains associated with this magnificent process. We ensure your ultimate safety and comfort by using pillows to support you and massage therapists trained in pregnancy/prenatal massage.  This is an ideal gift she can enjoy in the weeks and months ahead. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

What goes on with the body during pregnancy?

There are amazing changes that go on in your body during pregnancy like creating a new life!
As your uterus expands, you may feel aches and pains in the back, abdomen, groin area, and thighs.

Many women also have backaches and aching near the pelvic bone due the pressure of the baby’s head, increased weight, and
loosening joints. Some pregnant women complain of pain that runs from the lower back, down the back of one leg, to the knee or foot.

This is called sciatica. It is thought to occur when the uterus puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Are pregnancy massages helpful?

Some scientific studies have shown that massage therapy can do lots of things that pregnant women want and need.
It can help with:
Sleep and improve mood
Reduce edema (joint swelling) by increasing circulation and moving fluid in the body
Relieve nerve pain, including sciatic nerve pain, by relaxing the muscles that can clench and tighten around nerves and compress them.

Pregnant women who are interested in massage therapy should adopt a safety-first approach and see only therapists who has been trained and certified in prenatal massage techniques.

Typically it’s best to avoid the first trimester advises Mary Rosser, M.D., Ph.D., an ob-gyn at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York.

“The first trimester is the critical time when everything is starting to form,” she says. “Many people aren’t comfortable in the first trimester anyway; they’re just not feeling well.”

Always check with your doctor first to see if massage is right for your body. If it is, you can relax and enjoy a prenatal massage with a certified therapist and take advantage of our memberships and series.

Membership versus Series

Both memberships and series offer three, six or 12 massages purchased in bulk so you can enjoy a generous saving.
There is a difference between them however which is explained below.

Each membership allows your massage time to be pre-scheduled so you can relax, knowing you have a wonderful renewal time planned. Reap the benefits of a monthly massage service with no more scheduling or missing appointments. Sessions do not carry over.

Our series never expire and you can use them when you want.

Gift yourself or someone you love Relax and rejuvenate. The time is now.

Your lower back hips and feet may thank you!

pregnancy-massage

 

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Surprise Massage Gift Makes All the Difference to Husband

If you ever find yourself in the midst of a long, exhausting work week, eagerly waiting for the weekend to arrive, you’ll relate to our blog post today. Recently one of our customers was treated to an hour-long massage delivered to the comfort of his home – a surprise gift from his thoughtful wife.

He had no idea his wife was secretly booking a relaxing one hour in-home massage with us while he was busy at work.

When we asked if it was her husband’s birthday or their wedding anniversary, she replied, “No it’s a Just Because I Love You celebration and he’s been working so hard”.  We admired her motivation and went on to chat about the details.

Where to Set-Up?

We discussed where to set up the massage table, how to decorate their space with candles and whether to add scents. Oftentimes scents can compete with each other so we recommended some odorless flameless candles as we’d be adding aromatherapy to the massage oil.

Your massage table is ready and waiting.

Your massage table is ready and waiting.

When we arrived she had the ideal romantic location in mind and we set up our massage table on their large, roomy balcony. The balcony looked so inviting adorned with soft, glowing candles and a spray of red rose petals.

How Can a Massage Help?

A massage can reduce stress and help the body relax. Got a headache? Forty-five million Americans suffer from chronic headaches and migraines. Massage helps ease the pressure and pain, which can also reduce the frequency of headaches. Want to fight colds? A massage can strengthen your immune system.

Imagine coming home exhausted from a long work week to a relaxing massage? The benefits of massage are endless and will leave you feeling rejuvenated ready to fully enjoy the weekend. Needless to say this caring gift was well received!

We love bringing the gift of serenity to our customers throughout Southern CA.

If you or your loved one needs some TLC, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

 

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Staff Appreciation Chair Massage + Mini Manicures – The Gift That Keeps on Giving

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Our spa team ready to relax you.

The time to celebrate your staff is now. It doesn’t have to wait and “special moments” are not required even though special moments surely warrant celebration and appreciation.

The trick sometimes is to find the ideal way to show appreciation for your hard working staff – oftentimes we think of an item or chocolates or a coffee cup wrapped in special paper with many other treats to follow.

We had the honor of bringing a token of appreciation to a team of housekeeping staff in Pasadena. It brought much needed relaxation and rejuvenation to them and a whole heap of reward for us. Our massage therapists and nail technicians love what they do! Knowing that with just a few minutes of massage and nail care, someone’s whole energy can change and those around them too.

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Our manicure station.

15 minute neck and shoulder massages will do a world of wonder for your team as individuals or as a group. Add a mini manicure to the mix and it’s a match made in heaven. Massage and spa services have a high perceived value because they are considered a luxury and quite possibly your staff doesn’t have the means or the time to get these kinds of things done for themselves. But you can do it for them!

Boost Your Staff’s Morale. By choosing a day and a time slot of a few hours of pampering, you are showing your team how much they mean to your company and how much you value them. Knowing how much you care will carry them through more moments than a simple gift would do otherwise.

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Neck and shoulder massage

 

 

 

Consider a Day of Pampering an investment in the livelihood of the people who make the wheels in your organization go round.

Serve The Goddess can help.

 

 

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Do you Want to Reclaim Your Voice? – 16 Audios and 20 Gifts

I’m here with a very personal invitation to join me for a series of conversations with women who have learned to reclaim their voices and stand firm in their truth.

It’s been my experience that we often learn to be quiet and want to keep the peace instead of rocking the boat by speaking up. Perhaps we weren’t allowed to share our voice growing up. Or maybe we get shut down by our employer or partner. Over the years I’ve come to learn that speaking from my heart, even if I can barely get the words out, is better than stuffing everything down inside.

If you feel like you’re not being heard or have difficulty asking for what you need, you are going to learn so much by joining this sacred gathering.

That is the reason I agreed to share my journey of reclaiming my voice in an intimate conversation with Shann Vander Leek and 15 other women. Women just like you and me who agreed to share their most sacred truth. My last retreat in August was titled Find Your Voice Stand in Your Power and it was sold out so this is a valid topic that women want to get behind.

Join me for the 3rd Annual Goddess Talk Sessions click HERE. This inspirational series, hosted by my soul sister and Transformation Goddess, Shann Vander Leek, features 16 intimate divinely-led conversations including mine. Shann created this circle to teach women the secrets of reclaiming your feminine voice and sharing your truth.

This is a free flowing sacred conversation between women who want to share the secrets to walking in beauty.

Settle in and join us for this divinely feminine series. Step into the circle today and register HERE to receive access to 16 transformational conversations and 20 transformational gifts!

As Goddess Talk Sessions Hostess Shann Vander Leek says:
“When women circle up we can change the world!”

You’ll meet my 15 inspiring co-speakers, women who have walked through the fire faced their fears, and showed up as their radiant beautiful selves to discuss how they reclaimed their voices with you.

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What women are saying about The Goddess Talk Sessions:

“This gift of your Goddess Talk Sessions has touched my soul immensely. Your level of engagement – oh my!  And your own level of connectedness with each conversation was perfection. I am at an “amazing” crossroads In my own path and it is such a gift that I discovered these sessions at this point in time. I appreciate all that you have put into creating this event.” – Jean

“Shann, Your emphasis on walking in beauty has awakened me to the central place beauty has had in my being. I am actively reclaiming my love and passion for beauty as one of my gifts, teachers and healing agents in my life. Thank you.” – Susan

“Thanks so much for this series; I have to say it went about as deep as it gets. You really packed these sessions with such juiciness! Thanks for all the effort you put into the interview process and questions you asked your guests. It was truly an enlightening experience.” -Angela

“You bring out the very best in each of the beautiful women you interview. They are all phenomenal! Your beauty really shows through in your conversations.” -Susan

Step into the circle TODAY and receive access to 16 conversations and 20 transformational gifts!

P.S. The first Goddess Talk Sessions’ audios will be released on Monday, September 18th.

Reserve your seat today here

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Self Improvement September – 30 Days to a Better You

ec46796b3ca4bd2ece190ba42bdfd4d9September is Self-Improvement Month – a time to reassess yourself holistically and make changes where needed. Summer is just about ending and the kids are back in school – it means you get back to your old routine and hopefully this can mean including time for yourself.

Every time we reflect inwards and start to focus on ways to make ourselves better, our situation all around us improves. Our families, friendships, jobs and projects all become positively affected when we start to work on us.
Once we start working on ourselves, we will likely start to feel lighter, sleep better, have more patience and even feel a sense of peace and calm.

That being said, we invite you to take September as a month to improve yourself!
Try a holistic approach and include your mind, body and spirit – something like yoga. Yoga helps your mind to focus, build your body and connects you spiritually to your highest self.
Consider booking an in-home massage for each week of September. Massages will help to relax your body, soothe your mind and can open your spirit to being more thankful for the relaxation that massage can bring.

We invite you to take September as a month to improve yourself! This is just a start and something you can commit to for the month of September – one single month!  It’s one month of self-improvement – 30 days to a better you!

women at retreatWe suggest using a journal to document the process and to write how you feel and how the changes affected your life. Why not invite a friend to join you so you can share and compare lists and your journey.

Might we also suggest that you sign up for our transformational Goddess Retreats so that you can get a notification of when the next one will be. These are three day retreats that will definitely aid in all your self-improvement efforts. Our retreats are one to two times a year and include accommodations, delicious food, meditation and so much more.

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Women’s Equality Day – Celebrating the Women Who Walked Before Us

Today August 26th is Women’s Equality Day and while we have a ways to go still, it sure is nice to know we are here now!

The movement towards gender equality began some time in the late 19th century. It would mean the right to vote and make decisions by being selected for elected office. This was a huge deal!

Photo our recent Find Your Voice Stand in Your Power Goddess Retreat in Ojai California

Photo our recent Find Your Voice Stand in Your Power Goddess Retreat in Ojai California

Women were treated as inferior and they were excluded from taking part in areas related to politics, education and some professions. Young women today may not realize how ‘not too long ago’ this was. Some decades ago, the home was built by man and woman working together – the man farming and the woman doing “domestic tasks”. It would be hard to have a well functioning home without their harmonious effort.

This was of course when family farms were the way to provide and produce – before the industrialization of products and services. This meant that clothes and food preservation that women worked on in the home were becoming more and more available for purchase instead of being made at home. It was assumed that women could not handle the pressures of the outside world – that they were best placed where they can raise children and take good care of their men.

When they did work, they were getting paid just about half the value of what a man was paid. Although nowadays women are paid more than half of what men are paid, it still doesn’t really mean full equality. However, we can say women have definitely come a long way!

There was a time many moons ago where a woman could not even dream of running for presidency. So many women have lit the way for young women making tiny steps that evolved into huge leaps.

Photo of our altar from our recent Goddess Retreat in Ojai California

Photo of our altar from our recent Goddess Retreat in Ojai California

While there is still quite the mile to run, it sure is easier and less traumatic. The world continues to evolve as equality takes shape across the globe in so many more ways than before.

Serve The Goddess celebrates women who walked before this time – who paved the paths and made the flow more easy to follow.

We celebrate this at our Goddess Retreats as well.

Our retreats nurture the empowerment of women which builds a sisterhood foundation so that we can continue to light the path for others to come.

Who are the women who have done that for you? Who are the women who have lit the way and made your life a little or a lot better?

Don’t forget them – tell them thanks and treat them well. It could mean a lunch, a movie or a massage – something that tells them you are thankful for the efforts they made in their lifetime that has ignited the light to guide you along yours.

Our future is grand, don’t be afraid to stop and stare. You’ve come a long way!

Photo of our altar from our recent Goddess Retreat in Ojai California

Photo of our altar from our recent Goddess Retreat in Ojai California

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5 Easy Steps To Being a Better Friend this Friendship Week

The thing about friendship is that it encompasses all relationships – family, co-workers, business and sometimes the deepest friendships are with our pets.  Friendship is defined as a state of mutual trust and support between allied nations. That’s profound isn’t it?

Friendships are not one sided or selfish.  Good friendships feel easy and flowing – effortless to some degree.

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No wonder there’s a whole week dedicated to celebrating friendships and all it means.

It’s a wonderful reminder to honor the friends in your life, to shower them with appreciation and to focus on building new unions of pure platonic bliss. Many times this week is celebrated with cards, memes, bracelets and maybe lunches. It can go on and on – the ways in which to celebrate our friends, especially the friendships we find priceless.

While gifting things like bracelets or maybe even a spa service from Serve The Goddess is a great way to celebrate your kindred spirits, we’d like to take this time to encourage you to be a better friend with 5 simple and easy steps.

  1. Listen – sometimes all someone needs is a ready ear and an open heart. Most times people already know what they will do or what works or doesn’t work for them. They only need a safe space to collapse while they gather the strength to do what they need to do.
  2. Acceptance – let your girlfriend know she is accepted – her thoughts, her feelings, her needs … in all her beautiful mess, she is completely accepted.
  3. Gratitude – how often do you tell your friend how much she’s appreciated – and I don’t mean waiting for Friendship Week. Simply letting someone know they are appreciated goes a long way for most people.
  4. Knowledge – it truly is power. Do you really study your friend and understand them – maybe know when to joke and when to be serious? Pay attention to your girlfriends and learn their ways – what ignites them and what makes them cringe. Do less of the latter.
  5. Show up – Sometimes this is one of the biggest steps you make in being a friend – be there! Don’t wait for an invite or an excuse or a reason. If they need you, show up!

Friendships are priceless gifts we give to each other and many times, they are at the core of our survival. It’s the backbone of sisterhood and part of the reason we have Goddess Retreats – so you can find your tribe and love them hard!

For more information on our Goddess Retreats, click here.

You can also sign up here to become a part of our online tribe and take our goddess quiz.

It’s Friendship Week – be a good friend, today and everyday!

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Smile a While for Me – It’s National Smile Week

How are you feeling?

Are you happy?

Do you find yourself smiling more these days or less? If you understand how important smiling is for you AND those around you, I know you’d smile right now!

Smiling is super important to you and everyone you come in contact with. It sort of equates you with being that match stick that’s lit and you, in turn, have the power to light up the lives of others.

ec46796b3ca4bd2ece190ba42bdfd4d9Smiling increases endorphins in our bodies. Endorphins are responsible for making us feel happy, and they also help lower stress levels. Do you really need more than that to stimulate all your smiling senses? Yes? Sigh. OK 🙂

The science behind a smile is based on neurotransmitters which are released when you smile. These neurotransmitters are called endorphins and they are triggered by the movements of the muscles in your face which sends a message to your brain which then releases these chemicals – the natural feel good drug, made by you!

We celebrate National Smile Week because of all the ‘feel good’ waves it creates in your body. Smiling sends good vibe messages to those around you, thereby increasing the ‘feel good’ waves going around. Before you know it, we could all be living in a wonderful world filled with smiles.

Practice smiling and you will note that most people will automatically smile back. Sometimes we get so caught up in our day to day lives, focused on our stresses and worries and we forget to dwell in the beauty of life – flowers, butterflies, clouds, trees, sight, hearing – the very simple things. When we focus on the tiny things and realize how grand they really are, it lightens our bodies and before you know it, a smile is wrapped across the face. Besides making yourself smile, try to do things to bring a smile to someone you love with simple gestures.

There are so many benefits to smiling. It’s contagious, makes your more attractive, more approachable and even more trustworthy to others. And, most importantly, you could be adding a huge flare to a dim day for someone else.

Whether you smile to ignite someone else’s smile or you do kind gestures to bring a smile to someone’s face, the power of a smile is immeasurable. Say something positive or do something thoughful for someone today to bring a smile to their face!

Do something special for yourself, like book a massage or a spa service and give yourself time to “just be”. Invite someone for coffee and a movie, just because. The ways in which you can bring a smile to someone’s face are endless.

Smile a while for me. It’s #NationalSmileWeek on the second week of August and someone needs to see your smile today. That someone could very well be you!

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August Romance – Your Loves & You

Romance is defined as a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be wrapped in romance and all its whirlwind flares. Most people love to be romanced, especially women. We love to feel wanted and desired, wined and dined and all that good stuff. It could be because we are naturally givers and nurturers that when we get any of it back, it goes a long way.

romance awareness month

While it would be wise to water the seeds of romance all year long, it seems like there are times of the year that it stands out more – Valentine’s, Birthdays and August!

August is #RomanceAwarenessMonth even though the origin of Romance Awareness Month has not been determined. The fact remains that it is the month for weddings and anniversaries and perhaps summer love and romance is always a good feeling to support and promote because the underlying tone is love and love supersedes all!

Sometimes being romantic can be a simply holding hands, a love note, a flirty text or making breakfast. If finances allow and you can be grand, it might mean a helicopter ride along the coast of California. However simple or grand, it sends the energy of love deep into our souls and touches us deeply.

Here are some simple ways to enhance your August Romance

1. Eat together at least once a day
2. Find a common interest or show to share excitement in
3. Cook together on weekends or days off
4. Let forgiveness be your go to when all else fails
5. Focus on everything that’s right about your partner
6. Hug each other when you see each other and when you say goodbye
7. Text sweet nothings at least 3x a day “I love you” or “Have a Good Day” every morning
8. Always bid each other goodnight
9. Meditate together in nature
10. Do a couples massage session
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Togetherness is what promotes romance in a loving and healthy relationship.

Keep in mind though that you can “romance” your friends or your family and while it may not lead to a passionate weekend or night, it surely has the potential to beautifully etch a sweet memory in their minds forever.

Sometimes love notes and texts are just as good for your loved ones who are not intimately attached to you. Maybe a Gift Certificate for a spa service would also go a long way!

And, last but not least, remember you can romance yourself!

THAT’S RIGHT! They say the greatest love we can have is the one we have for ourselves and that the way we treat ourselves sets the tone for how others will treat us.

Check out our Goddess Spa Packages and make a day just for you – the ultimate down time.

Romance is wonderful when its shared between two people in love – absolutely! Just remember it’s not limited to that concept. Romance means tiny gestures that sweetly tug at the feeling of being loved and appreciated. So, sometimes you do for others and sometimes you #DoYOU!
Happy Romance Awareness Month!
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Reclaim + Ignite
Your Inner Goddess


It's time for you
to lift the veil.
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Each Goddess comes
with an affirmation,
beauty ritual & meditation
to bring you infinite wisdom.